How to Minimize or Eliminate Cell Phone Usage


Image courtesy of The Verge

Josh Andrade

In todays day and age, cell phones are thought of as a necessity to most. Nearly everyone has a cell phone, and no matter where you are or where you look, you can probably find someone with their fingers flying across the virtual keyboard. Unfortunately, cell phones and the radiation that they give off can cause some serious health problems over time according to the FDA. So, finding ways to stay off your phone now might help you in the future. There are actually some simple tools and tricks to help minimize cell phone usage or maybe only use it for calls, texts, or video.

One of the more simple points of attack for minimizing cell phone usage is actually quite interesting. By turning off push notifications, you will stop the urge to keep checking your phone and going on it to see whats happening, such as social media. According to Jillian D’Onfro of CNBC, “ I only left notifications on for email, chat app messages, my calendars, and utility apps such as Lyft or GetAround, which only activate when I’m using them”. By keeping notifications on only for email and other messaging apps, you can cut down on cell phone usage. You can turn off these notifications by going into the settings app, scrolling to notifications, then turning off what notifications you don’t want to constantly see. 

Another tool to help reduce the use of cell phones is quite unorthodox but happens to work pretty well. This trick is known as the hairband technique. This technique was created to help people with cell phone addictions create a greater mindfulness about their use of the phone. An article from Becoming Minimalist stated, “When placed in the middle of the phone, the hairband allows users to answer phone calls easily, but makes other uses of the phone more difficult (including simple texting)”. Because of this hairband across the middle of your phone screen, pressing one button to answer a call is no problem, but trying to scroll through somethin like Instagram or answering Snapchats becomes more of a task rather than for their enjoyment.

An article by Harvard Business Review did a study different from what most people try to look at when studying cell phone usage. Instead of looking at ways to stop people from going on their phones, they look at if people are willing to put their phones down and what the reasoning behind their disconnect from their cell phones. The study shows that the “ strategy aligns with your values and motivations (and with those of important stakeholders in and outside of your work) is key to successfully changing your behavior.” This quote helps show that people are more likely to cut down on cell phone usage when they have a task or priority that coincides with their values as well as things that motivate them. 

Cell phone usage in the past five years has already increased by a massive 73.9% according to Oberlo. This statistic puts into perspective how much a break in cell phone usage is needed. Everywhere you look, you can most likely find at least one phone in someone’s hand. Luckily, there are ways to disconnect from the virtual world of cell phones, and reconnect with the real world.